I grew up near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and went to the battlefield frequently when I was a boy. It was a place to play. As I grew older, I started going back and saw it as something much different. It was a place of sadness, a place to feel the tragedy of what happens when we resort to violence as a means to settle our differences. I keep going, and when I do, I spend some time quietly, mindfully surveying the ground. This year, the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s most horrific battle is being commemorated. Writing an essay on my experiences at Gettysburg seemed an ideal way for Mindful to explore the nature of aggression.
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Barry Boyce is Founding Editor of Mindful and Mindful.org. A longtime meditation practitioner and teacher—as well as a professional writer and editor— he is the editor of and a primary contributor to The Mindfulness Revolution: Leading Psychologists, Scientists, Artists, and Meditation Teachers on the Power of Mindfulness in Daily Life. Barry also worked closely with Congressman Tim Ryan, as developmental editor, on A Mindful Nation and The Real Food Revolution. Barry serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for a Mindful Society and the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto as well as on the advisory board of Peace in Schools, in Portland, Oregon.